Rich's Rant: E Means Enough

Rich is tired of seeing all the complaints about ESPN's treatment of Cleveland. He fires back in this week's Rich's Rant...

Enough. Enough already. Enough with the self pity and the paranoia and the inferiority complex.

You're better than that.

I can't tell you how sick and tired I am when I read on this web site or other web sites about how Cleveland sports teams are being picked on, ignored and/or laughed at. Quit your whining already.

It is getting tiresome to open up the OBR Forums and see another thread complaining about ESPN and its supposed hatred toward Cleveland. Get past it.

The general feeling is that the network loves carving up the Browns, working over Ohio State athletics, ignoring the Indians and turning a blind eye in general to the accomplishments of Cleveland-related athletes.

There's a vast conspiracy in Bristol, Conn., to pretend Cleveland, Ohio, doesn't exist in the sports world.

ESPN at it again and AGAIN!!!! railed the author of the latest thread on how one of the network's writers blatantly ignored the contributions of Victor Martinez and C.C. Sabathia in last week's All-Star Game.

Several subsequent posters tried to calm him down. Lifetimebrown nailed it with this response: "I'm really getting sick of this attitude already. There's no point in mentioning each and every time it appears the media might be excluding poor old Cleveland. Most of the time, you guys are making a much bigger deal out of this theory than can possibly be the case."

Let's get a few things straight: ESPN does not hate Cleveland teams or the city of Cleveland. ESPN does not deliberately go out of their way to slight Cleveland teams or embarrass Cleveland teams or overtly promote Cleveland teams. Their job is to report the news and they do a very good job.

You might not agree with the network's news judgment and believe there is a strong bias for New York teams. Then you'd be a lot closer to the truth.

When developments regarding Cleveland sports teams warrant, ESPN is on top of them. The network was right there in the 1990s when the Indians were one of the best teams in Major League Baseball. How many times did we see SportsCenter lead with another miraculous Indians comeback? Too numerous to mention.

How many times did we see ESPN fawn all over Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome and Albert Belle and Kenny Lofton and their wondrous accomplishments? Too numerous to mention.

And what about the last few years with the Cavaliers? ESPN can't schedule the LeBron Jamesaliers enough. That generates ratings, the lifeblood of the electronic media because it helps sell advertising. Nothing wrong with that. It's the American way.

One gets the impression, given the thinking of way too many fans, ESPN grudgingly reports on the exploits of Cleveland teams that do well. Uh, no.

ESPN, you see, has this thing about hitching itself to good teams and riding them until they lose their luster. Happens all the time.

The Cavaliers in the NBA finals? ESPN was all over that one. Couldn't get enough of LeBron hoisting his teammates on his back, taking the franchise where it had never been before. The network played that one until fans in Detroit and San Antonio became ill.

Last season, ESPN leaped onto the New Orleans Saints bandwagon when it became apparent that club was no fluke. Tying them in with the hurricane disaster and subsequent comeback made it even more dramatic, compelling and somewhat romantic. That's what ESPN thrives on.

The E in ESPN stands for entertainment. That is a lot of what they are all about. Can't blame them for that. You can blame them, however, for the relentless and shameless welcome they've given David Beckham, who plays a sports a vast majority of Americans couldn't give two wits about. Or the vacuous and completely mind-numbing "Who's Now" series they are currently foisting on viewers.

Want your Cleveland sports news with no frills and no shtick? Tune in your local stations, Clevelanders. You'll get it homerlicious and vanilla.

And what about all those ESPN repeat telecasts of Browns failures in the past? Red Right 88? The Drive? The Fumble? The Shot? What about those?

When you're a 24-hour outlet seven days a week, you run out of fresh programming and resort to reruns. Unfortunately, a vast majority of those Cleveland reruns involve bitter losses.

So when you have a problem with ESPN, do what any red-blooded male would if something the network televises annoys him. Grab the remote and use it.

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